List everything you think people in your life want that will bring them ultimate joy.
Try to find these items cheaper (anywhere) by checking all the search engines and local merchants within a five-mile radius.
Stop and drag out all the decorating stuff. Trim the tree to surprise your spouse. Put all the boxes away to keep house tidy.
Maintain a good attitude.
Dr. Penny Freeman, Originally published December 2016
Holidays set the bar high for crashing afterwards. We long for a feast that invites us to feel both full and at home. To enter a house feeling the welcome of belonging. To hope for laughter, warmth, joy and delicious food (that is what commercials are selling during the televised breaks during the parade after all).
To hold these feelings is to enjoy the glory we were created for in Paradise. But no matter how good your family is, there is no family or food that can live up to the expectations our souls seem to crave.
Dave Wiedis, Copyright 2010, 2017
Have you ever come across as rigid, legalistic, or even weird, when your intent was the exact opposite? Have you ever impetuously said things that are misunderstood by your family and friends, or in a public setting and watched your credibility undermined?
When my children were about ten and twelve I walked in on them as they were watching a seemingly innocuous show on the Disney Channel. Believing that I was a wise, discerning father, my spiritual antenna went up. I scanned the dialogue intently for any hint of immorality, or for some comment that I believed would plant a dark seed into the innocent, undiscerning hearts of my children. Hearing a very subtle comment condoning premarital sex, I made my pronouncement: “This show is insidious. I don’t want you watching such filth.”
Some in the Christian world would admire my ability to discern the secular worldview in the subtle comment. Some would applaud my diligence in guarding the hearts of my children. Today, with years of experience and the benefits of hindsight, I would say I acted foolishly....